To help deter hackers from infiltrating voting systems, the federal government offered all of Florida’s 67 counties a tool to detect and monitor electronic intruders. While the technology does not stop hackers, it alerts officials about possible threats and allows them to respond faster when data may be at risk. Only one county—Palm Beach—rejected the technology in the months prior to Election Day. That could change now that Palm Beach County plans to update its system next year. “We didn’t think it was a good time to put some function on a legacy system,” said Palm Beach Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher. “We’ll take a look next year when we buy new equipment.”
Pinellas Deputy Supervisor of Elections Julie Marcus called the sensors “another layer of security to protect voter integrity.”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security in August told Florida it leads the country with the most sensors in use, said Sarah Novell, a spokeswoman for Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, the state’s top election officer.
To pay for the sensors, the Florida Department of State received $1.9 million during the 2018 legislative session to provide grants to the local Supervisors of Elections.